BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Tehachapi Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public the opportunity to dispose of potentially expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs this Saturday at their police station.

The program aims to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft by having households dispose of them safely.

Participants can bring tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs for disposal to the Tehachapi Police Department at 220 West C Street on April 30 between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program will not accept liquids, syringes, other sharps, or illegal drugs, but they will accept vaping devices and cartridges as long as lithium batteries are removed.

The Bakersfield Police Department is also participating in the Take Back Day, partnering with Kaiser Permanente for the event. In addition to unwanted, expired, or unused prescription drugs, people can drop off paper for shredding, glasses and hearing aids, electronic waste, cellphones with chargers, walkers, scooters, power and manual wheelchairs, transport chairs, and bath transfer benches.

At their last event in October 2021, the DEA collected nearly 750,000 pounds of unwanted drugs. In its 11-year span, Take Back Day has brought in more than 15.2 million pounds of unwanted drugs.

The service has become essential as drug overdoses in the U.S. continue to rise. According to the CDC, 106,854 people died due to a drug overdose in a 12-month period ending in November 2021, jumping 16% over the past year. California was among five states with the most overdoses.

For more information about the event in Tehachapi, go to their website, or contact the Tehachapi Police Department at 661-822- 2222.